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Copyright and Fair Use

Information Has Value

The creation of information and products requires a commitment of time, original thought, and resources that need to be respected by those seeking to use these products, or create their own work based on the work of others. Information is intellectual property produced for all different purposes. Its value is based on various factors such as the producer, intended audience, and the content. Both creators and consumers of information have responsibilities to ethically use information.

What Is Copyright

"Copyright is a form of legal protection that provides authors of original creative works with limited control over the reproduction and distribution of their work." --April Hathcock

Copyright is a way to balance the rights of the creator with the public good over the control of intellectual property.

Under copyright law, creators have the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute their work as they see fit for a period of time. Then, the work is released into the public domain; where anyone can use, adapt, or reproduce the work without getting permission or paying a fee.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons

Some creators are using Creative Commons licenses as a "free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; ensure proper attribution; and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works." (

Otis Policies

It is the intent of Otis College of Art and Design Library to adhere to the provision of the US Copyright Law (Title 17). The law is complicated, particularly as relates to educational and fair use. Below are useful sites which present various aspects and interpretations of compliance with the law to assist faculty, students, and the entire Otis Community who use copyrighted materials, text, and images for lectures, as well as for artmaking and on Otis' websites. Please educate yourself!

Copyright Policies for The Nest

Everyone posting in The Nest is legally and ethically responsible for adhering to copyright laws. By uploading material to O-Space, you personally assume all legal responsibility for infringements. Course Readers should be used for all required readings. Articles should not routinely be scanned for O-Space.

Copyright Policies for Databases

The Library contracts with several database publishers and vendors to provide these resources to Otis College students and faculty for educational use only. They are made available to at no charge, but are subject to the conditions of the licensing contracts between Otis College and the publishers.

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